The award, which is sponsored by the National Association of State Title I Directors, honors schools that have demonstrated significant sustained academic improvement despite having poverty rates of 35 percent or more.
“Things like this really validate what you do,” Principal Belinda Waples said. “This was like the icing on the cake for everybody – a great tribute to a really hard-working staff.”
North Georgetown has been a state Superior school every year since 2004 and was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2006. The school has excelled despite having 73.7 percent of students on the federal free and reduced lunch program. In addition, 34 percent of its students are classified as English Language Learners.
To be chosen for the National Distinguished Title I Award, schools must show the ability to reach advanced academic performance levels, have strong professional development programs, demonstrate coordination with other programs, offer curriculum and instructional support for the achievement of high standards and create partnerships with parents and the community.
North Georgetown is the fifth district school to earn the National Distinguished Title I School Award since 2000. The others are Long Neck Elementary (2007), East Millsboro Elementary (2007), Frankford Elementary (2004 and 2008) and Phillip C. Showell Elementary (2000, 2002 and 2003).
North Georgetown will be recognized at the National Title I Conference in Washington, D.C. on January 20-24. It will also receive a cash grant as part of the award.